First time visitor to Prague

Old Jul 18th, 1999, 02:40 PM
  #1  
Roy Hunter
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First time visitor to Prague

Hi,

I will be visiting Prague with my wife for four days during August. Can anyone suggest some of the better sites to visit during our stay. We enjoy a little bit of art/museum trawling along with good food, lots of drinks and a lively pub/club with music to round the night off (Jazz, rock, dance). We would like to take day trip to some nearby attractions too....any ideas.

PS I speak English with a little German, is this enough to get by AND what about money, are ús or $s better to take?

Thanks in advance for your replies,

Roy
 
Old Jul 18th, 1999, 03:57 PM
  #2  
dan woodlief
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The must see sites are in Prague are: the castle complex, the Mala Strana area, which is wonderful for wandering (same side of river as castle), Old Town Square, Charles Bridge (make sure to see it in the evening also), and the old Jewish Quarter. I would also try to see Wenceslas Square, which is actually more like a street; it was the site of many important events in Czech history. For an incredible view of Old Town Square as well as the rest of the historic areas, climb the tower of Old Town Hall, the one with the famous clock. I also enjoyed a short walk around the Vysehrad area (at the big church there, many Czeck notables are buried, including Dvorak. Didn't have time for any museums during my only visit so far, so can't comment on those. Also don't know much about the night spots.

I would try to learn a few basic phrases in Czech, such as "Thank you" and "Do you speak English," but you should be fine with English and some German. I did use German a bit in Prague. The subway system is wonderful and very easy to use, as are the trams, which I used extensively also. Beware of the cabs at the train station. They are notorious for ripping off tourists. I refused to pay their exhorbitant prices and figured out how to use the trams to get to the hotel. This saved me a bundle. Ask inside the station how much a cab should cost to get to your hotel, and then you will know if you are being charged too much. As far as money goes, you should be ok with any strong currency. I wouldn't change more than once though (for example, I wouldn't change pounds or marks to get dollars and then change for koruna.
 
Old Jul 18th, 1999, 06:06 PM
  #3  
dan woodlief
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I just remembered that I did go to a couple of museums. Down around the old synagogues and Old Jewish cemetery, there is a small museum of Jewish artifacts, and in the building next door is a fascinating exhibition of artwork created by children interned in Nazi camps.
 
Old Jul 19th, 1999, 07:15 AM
  #4  
Zvi Schnabel
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You should see in the evening:
"Ahasver" in the Black Theater (no other Black Theater Performance)
and
The opera "Don Giovanni" in the famous
Marionette Theater, a magnificant evening with Mozart as the conductor...

For both you must not know the language.

Be careful in the Metro! Pickpockets!

Any other questions? Just ask. I am born there.





 
Old Jul 19th, 1999, 07:50 AM
  #5  
Maira
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Not much to add to Dan's informative post. Just to reiterate that the Metro is easy to use and extremely cheap. However, cancelled routes seemed common and stations were crowded which unavoidably seemed to invite pickpocketers.

St. Vitus Cathedral is beautiful. Of course, Prague Castle, a ride on the River provides a chance for beautiful pics. If you can get on an organized tour of the city highlights , do it. Then you can pick and choose the places you want to go back. Ours included a tour of the city (guide was fantastic), stops at a number of places, a boat ride (with refreshments). Small group on an A/C van; $15/pp. Info at the Prague Hilton excursion Coordinator (you don't need to stay at the hotel). Prague is amazing.
 
Old Jul 20th, 1999, 10:25 AM
  #6  
Becky
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Since there is a thread of warnings and suggetions going here, I wish to reinforce the resident's suggetion of watching out for pick pockets and thieves. The first question our guide (we were there for 9 days with a guide for a student/architectural group) ask was who had been robbed. Turns out, I was the only one who was...my camera was stolen in the post office when I turned around to get change for my stamps. Couldn't have been turned away more than 5 seconds. Just be street smart.

Avoid Wensceslas Square in the evenings. There is open drug use and prostitution. No one bothered us, but the scene disturbed me. Another area that is active for thieves is the Charles Bridge at night. It is hard not to get caught up in the view and lose sight of your belongings!

I don't believe anyone mentioned the Mucha Museum (actually near Wensceslas Square). It is wonderful and powerful. I believe it opened in 1998 shortly before we visited.

Prague is lovely and eager to be visited. Pick up a copy of the Prague Post, an English language newspaper for a list of restaurants in every price range. We followed their suggestions and never went wrong.

Since we are Americans, we took dollars and they seemed to be pretty welcomed!

Enjoy.
 
Old Jul 22nd, 1999, 09:20 AM
  #7  
Craig
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Only change money indoors. Seems a silly thing to say, but imagine a better pick-pocket haven. Also, you might save some if you can do a little quick math. I calculated the "real" exchange rate in a money changers shop when they said X% service fee. Turns out I could get Cronas at a better rate down the street when you figured in the X%, and I told her so. She droped the fee.
 
Old Jul 22nd, 1999, 07:06 PM
  #8  
Leslie
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It's been about 12 years since I was in Prague, but I was very impressed by the fine art museum there. I think it was in the castle area.
 

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